Sunday, August 06, 2017


As my feet hit the floor this morning I thought, "I'm always going to hate August." My dad's birthday is coming up in a few weeks; the first without him here. He wouldn't want me to hate it. Not that I do really, I just hate that he is not here to celebrate it. He loved being alive. He had a curiousity about the world around him right up until the end.

The first time he appeared in a dream after he died he was telling me that the world spun at a specific speed not known to everyone and if we knew the secret we could come back and be born again. I don't know how to make sense of that dream but I did like that it was a sunshine filled day with us in a prairie landscape when he told me this. His face was radiant with light.

My dad and I never talked about religion or faith. It was one of those taboo subjects in my family. I was going to say right up there with politics (except if you were drunk) but my family has long discussed politics and even with a great span between us having faith and no faith I've found that our politics are largely the same. I don't know what to make of that, either. If we had a mantra I like to think it would be 'treat people right.'

I've been reading quite a few books lately about death and dying. It's made me wonder what I will be remembered for. After my dad died my siblings and I were cohesive in what we felt our father's legacy was to us in terms of how to navigate the world around us. One of them was that he didn't care what we did for a living but he sure cared about how we conducted ourselves while we did it. It's amazing to me that when we put everything in the obituary, when we saw it all in black and white print, how much of a drive there was to make him proud that we were his and were living up to the values he espoused.

Today is my youngest son's first wedding anniversary. They've weathered miscarriages, emergency surgeries, and cancer and more cancer this past year. The future looks uncertain. My dad made the trip up here to attend their wedding. When we went to take family photos my dad stood alone with my son and his wife and pulled himself up as straight as he could before looking directly into the camera. That action said so much about him.

One of the songs we played at his memorial service was Humble and Kind. I hadn't been able to listen to it since his service when Dearest One played it for an overnight guest in our home the other day at the breakfast table. I buried my face in my hands and cried.

I did not expect to miss my dad this much. I've called home every week for about a dozen years. Ever since my mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Outside of his birthday or a call about his beloved Roughriders,  I rarely talked to my dad, relying on my mom to ferry pertinent information to him after our calls.

Every trite saying there is to be said after you lose someone rings true now.